Updated: March 19, 2010, 1:44 PM ET

Chambers confident ahead of Klitschko clash

Rafael By Dan Rafael
Eddie ChambersLars Baron/Getty ImagesField of dreams: Eddie Chambers, right, feels he has what it takes to dethrone Wladimir Klitschko.

Underdog or not, Eddie Chambers exudes confidence.

"This is a tremendous opportunity. I am so excited about it, and I can't wait to get into the ring on Saturday and shock the world," Chambers said this week from Germany.

The 27-year-old Philadelphia fighter was referring to what many view as an uphill battle when he challenges heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko at Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany, where a crowd of more than 50,000 is expected.

Virtually every one of them will be hoping to see another dominant performance from Klitschko, who is making his eighth defense and returning from a nine-month layoff following his domination of Ruslan Chagaev last summer and subsequent shoulder surgery that kept him on the shelf.

Chambers (35-1, 18 KOs), however, says he's in it to win it.

"I want people to see I am one of the better fighters in the world," Chambers said. "I'm excited to fight one of the best fighters of my time and to prove that I'm also one of the best. This is the culmination of all the hard work, and I just can't wait to get it done."

Whatever happens, it will take place without American television coverage, a shocker considering this is a heavyweight championship fight involving a legitimate American challenger. The fight is available in the U.S. only on a pay basis on Klitschko's Web site.

Dan Goossen, Chambers' promoter, said he wasn't upset there will be no television. He's just anxious for Chambers to get his opportunity.

"Eddie is on a mission to show the world he's capable of becoming the next great heavyweight champion," he said. "I can understand the reticence of the networks. Because of [how Klitschko fights], the networks have waned on their interest in Klitschko."

Said Chambers, "I use [no U.S. TV] as more motivation. I agree maybe they're a little tired of watching Klitschko and most people don't think I have a chance and that I don't look like I'm a real threat. I think they're making a huge mistake because this will be one of the best fights of the year. I am going to go in there and give it my all. He'll give it his all."

Chambers has paid his dues and earned his opportunity, regardless of the American networks' distaste for the fight. He's faced good opposition to emerge as a serious contender.

His most notable victories came in his past two fights, decisions against former titleholder Samuel Peter last March and Alexander Dimitrenko on July 4 in Germany, a win that secured him the mandatory shot against Klitschko (53-3, 47 KOs).

Although Chambers will be at a disadvantage in height (6-foot-1 to 6-6) and weight (approximately 210 pounds to 240), he said he isn't concerned. He has speed and plans to use it.

"Most people go in with Wladimir and think they have to adjust their style to coincide with his," Chambers said. "You have to find a way to implement your style. I have good speed. I'm a boxer by nature. I have to find a way to implement that. I plan to. I was able to do it with Dimitrenko."

Indeed, Dimitrenko, while not nearly as good as Klitschko, is almost a physical carbon copy.

Yet Chambers easily outboxed the favorite. He also pounded him to the body, hurt him with both hands and scored two knockdowns.

It's that experience -- fighting on the road against a much bigger man -- that Chambers hopes will pay dividends against Klitschko.

"It was like, 'How lucky are we?' Most people thought, 'Why would you fight this guy?' This is the best opponent we could possibly fight to get prepared for the best heavyweight in the world," Chambers said. "His style and a lot of things he did gave me the confidence that I could go in there and fight with any of the best fighters in the world."

"Eddie has grown tremendously in the last year, and it finally came to fruition in the Dimitrenko fight," said Goossen, who already has seen two of his heavyweights, Tony Thompson and Cris Arreola, get stopped in title fights against the Klitschko brothers -- Arreola by Vitali in September and Thompson by Wladimir in 2008. "He put it all together from an offensive end to with his talent defensively. That is why I believe we will shock the world, but it won't be a shock to us."

Klitschko has a different take.

"I am 33 years old and at the top of my athletic ability," he said. "I have never been so strong, fast and experienced. Eddie is a very talented fighter and has a very difficult style, but I am well prepared to defend my titles. My belts will stay in the Klitschko family."

Besides confidence, Chambers also is now a seasoned pro when it comes to fighting in Germany. This will be his third fight there. He beat Dimitrenko on trip No. 2 but lost an eliminator there to 2004 Olympic gold medalist Alexander Povetkin (the mandatory challenger for the winner of Saturday's fight) in 2008.

Even though Chambers lost in a competitive fight, it turned out to be an important lesson.

"The first time I went [to Germany], I wasn't prepared as mentally as I should have been," he said. "I didn't relax. I was a little on edge. It was my first big fight. It was just something in my mind; I was still kind a kid and not mentally as ready for it. I didn't have as much time to train and I was too uptight. I was just sitting in my room and worrying."

Chambers was much more comfortable when he went there and beat Dimitrenko.

"When I went the second time, I was more relaxed, laughing, enjoying myself and having a good time," he said. "I learned that throughout all the hoopla and pressure, you have to find a way to enjoy it. You have to find that happy medium where you know how serious and how big of a deal it is but also enjoy it. This is something that should be enjoyed. This is the big time, so you should be enjoying it."

"We have mapped out a game plan that will be the plan people will use and see how to beat bigger opponents," said Rob Murray Sr., Chambers' trainer and manager. "We feel very confident. We put the negativity behind us from our first trip here, and we will be up for the challenge and bring back the heavyweight championship of the world to the United States.

"Our plan is to win, and we will win handily. We will win without a doubt. There will be no doubt in anyone's mind."

Donaire-Darchinyan rematch?

Courtesy Marty Rosengarten for Ringsidephotos.com Let's make a deal: Promoter Gary Shaw is willing to see Nonito Donaire, left, and Vic Darchinyan duel again.

The rivalry between junior bantamweight champ Vic Darchinyan and interim titlist Nonito Donaire is perhaps the most compelling in the smaller weight divisions. Ever since Donaire knocked Darchinyan out in the fifth round of a 2007 upset to win a flyweight title, there has been demand for a rematch between these two fighters with power and personality.

But when Donaire dumped promoter Gary Shaw, who also promotes Darchinyan, to sign with Top Rank, Shaw swore there would never be a rematch.

Donaire (23-1, 15 KOs) went about his business and is 5-0 since beating Darchinyan, including a move up in weight to claim an interim belt. Darchinyan (34-2-1, 27 KOs) has remained a regular on Showtime despite the loss and is 6-1-1 since then, including unifying three junior bantamweight belts but also losing to Joseph Agbeko in a bantamweight title shot. And Shaw has softened his stance; with no significant fights on the horizon for either man, Shaw and Top Rank's Bob Arum began talking seriously about a rematch this week, both told ESPN.com. It would take place in August on Showtime.

"I think we've made it, practically," Arum said. "Gary, for all his bluster, is not a hard guy to finalize a deal with. When you sit and talk to him, you can make a deal."

Said Shaw, "Hope we have enough money to make the fight. Not sure what each fighter thinks the fight is worth. My thoughts are, I make whatever fight Vic wants, and he wants revenge against Nonito."

Ahead of the rematch, Arum and Donaire manager Cameron Dunkin said he'll probably fight May 15 on "Top Rank Live" to prepare.

Unhappy Green

Ed Mulholland/Fightwireimages.comGreen with anger: Allan Green isn't buying into Andre Ward's excuses.

Super middleweight Allan Green, the alternate who replaced Jermain Taylor in the Super Six tournament, was upset when titleholder Andre Ward postponed their April 24 bout this week.

Ward, who has a bum right knee, is expected to return in six weeks. Green said he believes Ward is afraid to face him.

"I honestly don't think he will ever get in the ring with me," Green said. "I don't think this is a fight Andre Ward and his people ever wanted. If I had it my way, he'd take a cortisone shot and fight. I seriously doubt he's ever going to fight me. I hope [the injury is] valid, because there's been a lot put into this from everybody involved and there's no time to play games. If he were fighting Jermain Taylor or Sakio Bika, I'm sure he'd be good to go. I'm a fighter. I fight through bumps, bruises and injuries.

"I fought Tarvis Simms with a bad right shoulder. If your knee keeps getting hurt, it could be something chronic and you're probably not going to be ready in six weeks. If your knee is swollen, just take a cortisone shot, stop bitching and get your ass in the ring."

Showtime still will air the other half of the April 24 Super Six doubleheader on same-day tape, England's Carl Froch defending his 168-pound belt on Mikkel Kessler's turf in Denmark.

Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com.


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